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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera America  March 4, 2014 2:30am-3:01am EST

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website for breaking news and information about the kiev crisis at we leave you with a look at the mardi gras celebrations in new orleans, going strong into the night. ♪ hi, i'm lisa fletcher. and you are in the stream. is misinformation complicating the crisis in ukraine. what is happening on the ground in crimea that is going widely unreported but could have significant impact? ♪ our digital producer, wajahat ali is here bringing in all of your live feedback throughout the show.
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are viewers concerned abc the community in crimea? >> yeah, you mentioned misinformation, and each week there is a new story. russia says they are doing a build military buildup, sandra does not believe it . . . it seems no one is talk about the ukrainians. >> every time the words cold war come up that is a hot button. >> yeah to this day. >> the young nation's political future is uncertain. russia falls into a much less
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coveted spotlight. ukraine. you can see that it is quite the strategic location for the two countries, and home to one of russia's largest naval fleets. vladimir putin made the call to second troops there last week. this comes after months of protests by opposition activists who say they are fed up with corruption and a leader that they believe is inching away from the european union. the protesters now worry that their country's fate could be decided by foreign hands. more issues emerge ever day. so what lies heyed? joining us via skype is the director of institute for democracy and cooperation, an assistant professor of political
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signs at baylor university, a blogger out of moscow who just came back at the end of last year, and the vice president of the ukrainian association of north carolina. his organization is proukraine. welcome to all of you. olli, you have friends and family in ukraine. i know you get reports that never make it into the media, what are they telling you that they are seeing and hearing on the ground? >> that is correct i have extended family in ukraine, and many residents of north carolina have family in ukraine, and the last few days everybody's extremely concerned, worried that the possibility of a civil war, and they are preparing to defend the country and fight. >> tim, talk a little bit about -- i know you have a lot of friends there, and it's not unusual for someone to be born
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in russia, even raised in russia and then move to ukraine. about 60% of the population in crimea is russian. what is the push and pull there? there has to be an internal struggle and struggle of allegiance, yes? >> what i can say is that i have a lot of friends in ukraine and kiev and [ inaudible ] especially, so people are really divided because [ inaudible ] all of the nation -- all of the ukraine nation wants to come to europe, there are a lot of people who are pro-russian, there are lots of people who are against russia, and the country is kind of divide. really, there are a lot of opinions on how the country will develop in some future -- in some near future, so that i'm really worried for my friends and my friends in ukraine are really worried about endangering
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the stuff ukraine have now, because of revolution is in their near past, and now groups -- there are powerful groups, fighting groups in ukraine are starting to kind of divide the pie, just aim to acquire some part of the powers. likely some people from [ inaudible ] some official mritices, like klitschko and others, and the [ inaudible ] nation is from extremist group called riot factor who are not controlled by -- >> tim, you mentioned the political party and our community is really concerned about ukrainians, those protesters, what about them, tony tweets in . . .
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>> some people are really afraid of some protesters, because i -- i mean protesters are not uniting the ukrainians, there are a lot protesters who are against each other, and some people are afraid of protesters, and are afraid of riot sector, because riot sector has previously stolen a lot of ammunition and weapons -- >> tim, one second -- >> can i jump in please, because i'm afraid tim is telling things that are just not accurate. >> go for it. >> first of all the business of a lot of people being in favor of russia, statistically that is not correct. all of the polls have shown that the majority of the people including east and west in general are in favor of europe not russia. there is a minority that is in
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favor of russia, but the majority is in favor of europe. and the extreme nationalists has been inflated, out of proportion. and if you compare the so-called national lists in ukraine and russia, there is no comparison. i would like to say a few words about [ inaudible ] itself. >> just a second, olli. moment. >> yeah. >> i want to talk about these protests. servers have called them deeply authentic. they said it goes to the core of ukraine, and there is a fear that the violence is actually going to escalate because of how closely it is to the soul of ukraine. i want to get your thoughts on that. are you anticipating an escalation? >> right. the violence happened after only two months of peaceful process
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in the center of kiev that were repressed by violent means by the yanukovych government. the violence was a form of self-defense against the attempts of riot police to try to disperse protesters through force from the streets. now the yanukovych government has been toppled, i don't think that violence is a serious issue that threatens ethnic russians in crimea. this is completely a bogus imagined threat that russians are on purpose creating in order to find a pretext to intervene in ukrainian territory to organize and cover up this aggression in crimea and further in the east. >> i'm going to get some community in. steven just tweeted in . . .
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and i want to go to you with, this speaking about the ukrainians now, do you think ukrainians have lost out on this narrative? can they control their destiny, or are they just being used as a upon now by self interested parties. >> first of all everybody must know there is no united ukraine. ukraine is two different nations, two different countries, and because of [ inaudible ] policy of [ inaudible ] this country survived until recently, but i always warned and i have many, many publications and for 20 years i am inside russian politics dealing with ukrainian policy,
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dined many times with leaders. i know practically, and my famous article in 2005 in february, i warned that victory of you -- usango [ inaudible ] everything concerning russia, having policy against russia, they are pulling the trigger and practically destroying their own cow -- country, and they achieved this goal because all of these people like klitschko and many others starting to looking this armament effort in western ukraine [ inaudible ] buildings in western ukraine --
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>> can i please jump in -- >> let's let olli jump in. olli go ahead. >> let me finish my -- typical. >> i'm going to put both of you on pause, take a break and come back in a moment. we'll talk about more angles, but first you can get more of us during the show. >> tv is no longer one way with "the stream" second stream app. share your thoughts during the life show. disagree with one of our guests? great, tell us. receive grabs, quizzes, and guest information. interact with other web users in real time. you can be our third co-host. use the app and drive our
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>> i'm ali velshi, the news has become this thing where you talk to experts about people, and al jazeera has really tried to talk to people, about their stories. we are not meant to be your first choice for entertainment. we are ment to be your first choice for the news. ♪
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[ shouting ] [ gunfire ] >> welcome back. we're talking about the crisis in crimea and the biggest concerns from those living through it. there seems to be this haze of propaganda and misinformation that hangs over this crisis. reporters are getting two different answers. is it possible to gauge the level of confusion on the ground because of this misinformation? >> right. first of all i think there is a confusion between ethnic russians, and russian speakers. nearly half of the citizens of ukraine speak russian at their home or at work, but it does not
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mean they are ethnically russian. 75% are ethnically ukrainian. the two nations is one of the elements of this confusion that often is mentioned in the western media. the -- the second element of confusion has to do with the bogus strategy exaggerated threat that comes from radical nationalists in ukraine. some receive government positions in the new government and that has been a mistake by the new ukrainian authorities, but all of the front runners in the current presidential election are russian speakers. klitschko was born in russia. yulia tymoshenko has been youed as a good partner with putin. and she is a front runner in the
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presidential election. both come from ukraine. the far right that many people talk about is really a marginal insignificant political force. >> we have our community tweeting in about some of the tartars. sophia says . . . and we have a video comment. >> today russia opened the door of our house without knocking it, occupying governmental buildings, military units, tv channels, airports, demanding the ukrainian military forces to surrender and to acknowledge the illegally elected prime minister. as [ inaudible ] and people of crimea i address the international community with a
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request to help us to maintain peace here without blood. >> tim i want to go to you with this, there are 300,000 muslim tatars in crimea. they have had a volatile situation with russia. what will be the effect of an increased buildup of russian military on the tatar population? [overlapping speakers] >> what is happening in crimea. >> we should be clear about what is happening in [ inaudible ] -- >> do you want to know really what is happening in -- >> both of you guys are going at once. tim, why don't you go first? >> crimea is not like any other region in the ukraine. is its own government and has its own prime minister. [ inaudible ] is prime minister of crimea actually invited
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russian military troops to keep peace in the region, and russian military troops are there behaving very politely. it is fact, you can check tweets from the region, and they are not fighting anybody, shooting anybody, or offending anybody, and they are not -- the girl before that just said they are occupying administrative buildings and so on, that's not true. check twitter, check the articles and videos from the real crimea and you will see true. >> one thing we have to remember is the prime minister of crimea does not have authority to invite foreign troops on the ukrainian territory. the constitution bans troops -troops -- [ overlapping speakers ]
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>> let him finish and then we'll get you in. >> in addition to that the prime minister was elected by the parliament in violation of the law, which says that he has to receive confirmation from the ukrainian authorities in kiev. only those that are confirmed by the authorities in kiev can act on behalf of crimea. he did not receive that confirmation and he does not have any power to invite any troops, foreign troops into crimea. >> how do you respond to that? >> yeah, listen -- i can't listen to all of this nonsense, because people doesn't have any idea what is really going on in crimea. first of all the prime minister -- and he was elected by ukrainian parliament and his candidacy really was approved by only this moment [ inaudible ] institution in ukraine by president yanukovych. first. second, the crimea parliament
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doesn't recognize the legitimacy of current power in kiev because they violated an agreement signed by yanukovych which was agreed to by leaders from poland, and france. that's why this is [ inaudible ] -- >> can i please make a rational comment -- >> olli, go ahead -- >> i didn't finish! >> we have a limited amount of time i want to get everybody in. please. >> this is the most important thing. you crane and [ inaudible ] authorities don't [ inaudible ] russian troops. russian troops are located in crimea. >> okay. olli go. >> can we please have some order. thank you. first of all i think it's important to point out that people forget that although
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there are 60% of russians in crimea, there is 15% of tatars and 24% of ukrainians, and nobody talks about the ukrainians in crimea. second if this was invited to keep the peace -- although all of the evidence is that that is baloney. the russian fleet is totally safe from any kind of threat -- why is it that the russian troops that sneaked into crimea took off their insignia so it didn't show they were russian troops? >> do you want to respond to that? because we have video of the same thing and that is the circulating narrative. >> yeah, you know, the problem is that the troops in peninsula are of course the troops which are deployed by russian authorities according to agreement with ukraine.
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by the way according to agreement, russia has a right to deploy 25,000 troops over there. now russia has a little more than 10,000. by the way, almost 6,000 ukrainian forces now pledge their loyalty to crimea government, and crimea prime minister declared himself as commander in chief and he is going to establish a ministry of [ overlapping speakers ] >> i would like to ask you a question if you would stop talking for a moment. do you feel there are signs that russia is ready to start a war over crimea? >> of course not. because there is no war with whom? haven't you heard today one ukrainian deputy gave interview and said mobilization? it's a joke. nothing is moving. nothing is flying. we don't have anything -- >> this is not true.
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>> i would like you to weigh in on this. >> first of all there were confirmed redeployment of russia troops from moscow that was done through the carriage street. all the russian troops have surrounded all of the ukrainian military bases this crimea i'm not sure what kind of agreement allows the troops to demand the surrender of arms that ukrainian military has there, and want the ukrainian troops to withdraw. on what basis are russian authorities demanding that? there have been incense independents of russian fighter jets going to the ukrainian air space, there have been demands on the ukrainian warships to defect on the russian side. what the world is witnessing is outright aggression that is
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covered up by a bogus threat of exist. >> i'm going to get some community in. and we have equally divided response . . . >> all right. leading goes are talking about how to punitively talk with russia, but is it all talk? we're going to try to separate that when we come back. keep tweeting us using the >> al jazeera america presents extrodanary documentaries. colin comes from a long line of ferrymen. >> you're a riverman from start to finish... >> now he leaves home to see what life is like on the waters of bangladesh. >> it's absolutely filthy... >> he learns how difficult working ther can be. >> how do you say..."get out
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[ singing ] [ chanting ] welcome back that was footage from a ukrainian-american rally in chicago. a lot of talk, the u.s. state department said to be preparing sanctions, the head of the uk threatening consequences, the british foreign secretary ruled out military intervention, so as the most powerful countries in the world are preparing how to react here, what do you expect the actual response to be? >> from the ukrainian government in >> from the international community. what do you actually think is going to happen when the rubber meets the road? >> i think the first thing that
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will happen is an attempt to humiliate russia diplomatically, so expel it from the g8. to try to impose is sanctions on leaders, and financial sanctions on some of the businessmen in russia, these are the initial steps that i think will be taken by the international community, but i think ukrainian authorities have to be proactive and to try to communicate that there is really -- there -- guarantees that they are willing to extend to the russian ethnic authority, about their rights both [ inaudible ] and human rights so the russian authorities would understand that it's our interest, and our common interest to maintain peace and avoid the potential for conflict approaching. >> here we have a video comment
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from a ukrainian american. >> what happened in ukraine is much larger than the protests. what is happening is a movement against a form of government that should not exist anymore. it is the 21st century. it is no time and place for total tearism. and i hope they'll witness how countries around the world where there is no true democracy, get on the board. it is time for terms such as ol garky, and those terms to go to textbooks and stay there. >> 20 seconds left. what do you want to see? >> what has united them [ inaudible ] is a will to end the corruption, to have a normal democratic country, and everybody in the whole country
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will tell you, we want to have a future -- >> we're out of time, ollie, thank you to all of our guests, have a great evening. >> an invitation to enter crimea. a letter from the former prime minister viktor yanukovych, asking for help. >> hello, welcome to al jazeera america live from doha. also... >> this says vladimir putin, my children are afraid of your defenders. >> we meet the tatars who fear a future under russian control. >> in other new, we are in venezuela looking at the financial forces behind